August 28, 2010

Fangoria Frightfest- Final Overview

We watched them, we cringed, and in the end, we shake our heads at Fangoria and their half-baked Frightfest. It's a shame really, as Fangoria is the Holy Grail of horror print and happenings and has been for over 3 decades, and they seem to have picked some very lackluster films to slap their name on and promote. A few were good, a few were decent, but the majority of the Frightfest films were sub par and forgettable. The verdict(s): Fragile: B+ Grimm Love- B Hunger- C Dark House- C Roadkill- D Pig Hunt- D The Tomb- Do Not Want. The Haunting- Did not watch. We didn't even watch The Haunting. We tried, but by the time we sat down to give it a go, all of our patience had been drained by the other movies we had to endure, and we turned it off about 20 minutes in and called it a day. It could rock, it could suck... we don't know, and right now, we don't care. That sounds shitty of us, but man, Fango really took the wind out of our collective sails with the FFF, and we are just finished. If Fangoria does another round of the Frightfest in the future- which is bound to happen- we can only hope that they pick a group of better films than this one was, because frankly Tony Timpone and his crew is better than this.
Check out the reviews below!

August 23, 2010

If this doesnt make you crave a blood orgy...

...then nothing will, my friends.

FFF- Dark House (2010)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1260567/A little girl who witnesses a mass-murder of other kids grows up to be an acting student, and finds herself being drawn back to the scene of the slaughter... all for the sake of her craft, and for the benefit of her acting school.

Once her Improv Troop arrives at the creepy mansion where said massacre took place, the evil ghost of the child killer starts dispatching everyone on site... using computers.

That all really happens.

This movie could have been kick-ass, but as it is, it's more along the lines of "not bad." Dark House definitely fills the gore quota, is mildly witty, and fairly entertaining, but in the end it felt a bit too cheesy for us to fully enjoy.

So, the evil spirit of the child murderer possesses the computer of the people setting up in the house... fine. The fact that every few minutes the film cuts to a scene of her spinning around or vibrating wildly in some sort of cyberspace (for lack of a better term) was not fine. It felt really lame out of place, and killed any hopes for mood that the film had.

Jeffrey Combs was fun in this one, as he always is, but his wit and quirky delivery wasn't enough to make the movie truly humorous, and it tried so hard to be amusing, that it never really felt like much of a creep-fest.

Pretty creepy, but why so spin?
I'm not generally a fan of confused or middle-of-the-road type movies, and this one felt like both. It's very possible that it's just me, and this type of Horror flick just isn't what I like; I can admit that personal preference doesn't always jibe with the quality of something, but while it didn't totally suck, Dark House just didn't do much for me.

C

Meghan Ory is in this.

FFF- Pig Hunt (2010)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1022883/A guy takes his city friends on a hunting trip to the backwoods farm where he grew up, only to find that they are the hunted! Clever, huh?

There's also something about a Hillbilly Gang that grows weed, an odd black dude that has a harem of naked whores running around the woods, and also a freakishly large pig that eats people...

Scrolling through the user reviews on IMDB, one would think that this is a masterpiece of low budget Horror... until you realize that most people that comment about flicks like this on IMDB are shills, and they like to lie.

This movie sucked. Plain and simple.

As if the premise about a killer pig isn't lame enough, the fact that they didn't even show the titular beast until there were only about 10 minutes left in the movie, was a serious slap in the face. (At least when they did finally show it, there was no CGI to be found, the filmmakers instead opting to use old school methods to bring the massive sow to life. That was pretty cool.)

I can imagine that some people will like this movie, claiming it to be a bloody, funny, Grindhouse-like piece of schlocky gold, but I'm not buying it. The story is not only hollow and MORE THAN FAMILIAR, but it starts out as a Backwoods Monster thing, switches gear to an Angry Hillbilly thing, segues into becoming a Russ Meyer whore-fest cult movie, and then with 8 minutes left, the movie is about a killer pig again.

I will give this movie 2 things:
1- Les Claypool of Primus did the film's music, and he's all kinds of cool.
2- There's a pretty awesome scene with about 10 naked sluts towards the end, rubbing and kissing each other. That was neat too.

Other than that though, it's all been done many, many times before, and far, far better.

Oh, just make out already!
Another clunker. I have to wonder why Fangoria selected some of these films for their signature DVD line.

D

Marissa Ingrasci is in this.

August 22, 2010

FFF- Fragile (2005/2010)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0422272/ Ally McBeal is a Nurse now, and her skinny ass is still causing all kinds of hi-jinks and hilarity, and getting herself (and everyone else around her) into all sorts of wacky mischief... only this time it's with a bunch of sick kids, so it's not as amusing. Then again, Ally McBeal was never really amusing to begin with...

Anywho, there's a vengeful spirit lurking on the 2nd floor of this creepy Children's Hospital, and by vengeful I mean it breaks the bones of the already sick kids for laughs. Enter Ally McBeal as the children's only hope?

Having seen all 8 of the movies now, we can honestly say that this is the best that the Fangoria Frightfest has to offer. I expected absolutely nothing from this one (seeing as it stars Calista Flockhart, and has been sitting on the shelf for the better part of 5 years), but I was eating crow about 30 minutes into watching it, and spitting out the feathers for the duration.

This movie does a really good job of setting the mood and then creeping you the hell out with the story. It's not the scariest thing ever, but it's genuinely effective.

Jaume Balaguero (the guy who directed [REC], [REC 2], and another creepy fave of ours, Darkness) also lensed this one, and it all makes sense to me now... all of the aforementioned films have the same dirty, Demonic feel about them, and they manage to suck you into their worlds and keep you shitting kittens until the end. The guy has a deft touch when it comes to nuance and making things creepy. We are big fans of you Jaume (however you pronounce your name), and we can't wait to see what you'll do next. 

Run for your Goddamn life!
If you love Haunted House flicks, then this one should satisfy you on most levels... even though it's more of a Haunted Hospital flick, really. Still. You know what I mean. This is the tops of the Fangoria Frightfest, and if you only see one of its 8 movies (not to die for) then make it this one.

B+

Calista Flockhart is in this.


August 21, 2010

FFF- Grimm Love (2006/2010)

Finally, one of the Fangoria Frightfest films delivers the goods...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0448400/
Keri Russell plays an Emo-ish (borderline Goth-ish) Grad Student who is writing a thesis on the subject of Gay Cannibals (because obviously gay guys like to eat each other.)

She's all mopey and has a dark side that shines through now and then, which sends her on a mission to find out the truth about a supposed Gay German Serial Killer... It's supposed that he's a Serial Killer, not gay. Everyone is pretty sure that he's gay.

Anywho, what she finds instead is a bunch of creepy Germans who have a fetish that involves eating each other (and not usually in the pleasant way.)

This is one of those slow burn movies that feels tainted from the get go, and gradually gets more morbid the further into it you get. By the time the last scenes of the movie arrive, you're most likely going to be cringing and saying "What in the hell is wrong with people?"

This movie tackles two difficult and uncomfortable subject matters in Cannibalism and Gay Sex... if you have a problem watching either on screen, you may want to skip this one as there is plenty of suggestive and visceral images of both on screen throughout.

Is it a love story? In a way. It's more a story about some lonely, mentally-scarred people finding each other, while at the same time finally finding a purpose. Either that, or it's a story about some fucked up German Serial Killer who was the first to exploit and use the Internets as a tool for his craft. Either way it's interesting, and even better than that, it's really dark and incredibly creepy.

There's a particularly spooky email exchange towards the end which really drove our Creepy Meters through the roof, and finally gave Keri Russell what she wanted... and more! Dun, dun, dun! But seriously, it was pretty eerie, reminding us of the basement scene from Zodiac; you never know who is where, and why or how they are there, only that they are there and lurking there to give you a message or scare. (I have no idea what I just wrote.)

Subtle, eerie, uncomfortable and just downright spooky, Grimm Love delivers the creepy goods. (I know I just used eerie, spooky and creepy in the same sentence, which is really redundant and sloppy grammar, but it needed to be done!)

Christ Almighty.
I was very surprised to find that this movie has basically sat on the shelf since 2006, and couldn't find any kind of release, because it's definitely a flick worth seeing. A solid entry to the Frightfest, I can only hope this is a sign of things to come with 4 movies left to watch...

Keri Russell is in this.

FFF- Hunger (2010)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1176252/ Some dweeb who ate his mother as a kid abducts a bunch of people, dumps them down a well, and starves them until they feel like eating each other... sounds like a cathartic exercise for an insane mind, to me. That's what I'm guessing, anyway.

I'm pretty sure that this was the script originally intended for Saw XVII, but it was so bold and brilliant the the Filmmakers just had to let it stand on their own. You already know the cast; The stripper, the hot Final Girl chick, the bland hero guy that everyone cant help but love, the street savvy loose cannon, and the timid geek... all whom are at the mercy of Kenny Rogers' gimpy looking son!

This one had some merit to it, especially with as bloody as it got in the later going, but in the end it just wasn't my thing. Too many flashbacks for my taste, and most of them involved the "bad guy" whom I didn't give one shit to know more about. For the record, the bad guy/killer of the movie looked about as threatening as Kenny Rogers, beard and all, and every time they cut to him, he was making odd faces or adjusting a button or something... I just didn't buy into his menace.

The whole "several strangers who are connected to each other somehow find themselves trapped in some inescapable place together as part of a game/experiment" thing has worn out its welcome with me as well. Too many low budget Horror flicks have tried to walk the line that the Saw films have drawn in the sand since 2004, but most just tend to be cheaper and less engaging shadows of said series, rather than bold, fresh new takes on a clever story.

The movie is not without merit however, especially as everything got a little bloody and nasty in the third reel, and the ending was fairly satisfying, which was a nice change of pace. Aside from the "mental games" aspect of the movie, some of the action was fun and definitely messy, so it has its appeal.

Jigsaw has gone too far this time!
Overall, I think that a lot of Horror peeps will really like this movie, while I am more inclined to just call it decent. Of the three we've seen so far, this is the Fangoria Frightfest movie to rent... if you're feeling brave and don't mind taking a risk that you may be as underwhelmed by it as I was.

C

Lori Heuring is in this.

August 19, 2010

FFF- Roadkill (2010)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1241330/ Two couples find themselves at odds with a Demonic Road Train on the desolate highways of the Outback!

Stranded in the middle of nowhere, they must try to back the evil truck down a road full of risky eternal doom! Really. They spend the last half of the movie backing up... or attempting to. Add in a subplot about a guy with a whore girlfriend who sleeps with his best mate (and all of the tension it causes between the main characters), and you'll spend 85 minutes trying to back away from your TV.

First off, we really loved the concept of this movie; a driver-less truck that is most likely related to Hell in some way, running not on fuel but on corpses, trying to fuel it's insatiable appetite... that's some fun stuff right there. It reminded me of Duel or The Hearse or something, with a bit of Joyride 2 thrown in for good measure. The fairest comparison would be to say it is a lot like Road Games in feel and setting. (If you haven't seen Road Games, it's an oldie but goodie, and you should check it out.)

Whichever one it reminds you most of, it's a "mysterious vehicle terrorizes innocent travelers for no apparent reason" flick, in any case. Sometimes that concept works, sometimes it doesn't. Take a guess at how it worked out here.

The movie delivered some tense scenes, and managed to entertain well enough, some of the time, but something about it just never clicked into place as it should have. The acting was pretty good, the chicks were hot, there was some neat-o violence thrown in here and there... it had its merit.

Where it completely lost its footing was in the common/logical sense department; mainly because most of the movie made none. Nothing was explained, and the characters were blisteringly stupid. When a road train is bearing down on you at high speed, pull over. If you don't pull over, and it hits you, pull off the road when it does. If you let it hit and pass you, and then race to catch up to it, cut it off and flip the driver the middle finger, then you deserve whatever happens next. Why can no one ever be sensible in these movies?

You're in a small SUV and a guy in a massive, double-length semi truck hits you and nearly runs you off of the road, and you say "screw that guy, let's get him!" What the hell could you possibly do to him? That's nothing more than a dumb fucking person begging for tons of trouble. Call the Cops. Pull over and let him drive off. Wish death on his family quietly to yourself... but try to fight a road train? And let's discuss how after stealing a massive semi truck and fleeing for your life from a mad gunman, you not only manage to doze off while driving, but while you're sleeping you manage to turn off of the highway onto a dirt road, navigate your way down a narrow, winding incline, and end up miles off course? While asleep! Wow. I guess you could write it off as "the truck willed it", and it drove itself somewhere, but they never explain it that way, and instead it comes off as a random happening. Again, wow.

Most of the movie after that is spent trying to back the truck up and get off of that road, although there's another place to turn around and escape... that they eventually use. It's all just really clumsy. Back up... stop, get out, wonder what's happening, get back in, back up 10 feet, stop, get out... fuck you.

And what's with the guy drinking his own piss after being out in the sun for hardly any time at all? What was she drinking from those cans? What was with all of the Cerebus imagery? Did anyone on the film crew realize that they got the direction they came from all screwed up? Why would you dump out 1 of your 3 bottles of water because you're all angry and throwing a tantrum?

 It didn't suck as much as The Tomb did, but Roadkill was definitely a wreck none the less. 

Please just die. All of you.
This one was interesting on some levels, but it was just to infuriatingly retarded to endure. That's strike two for the Fango Frightfest, and quite frankly I'm baffled as to how bad these movies are so far... they had better be saving the good movies for later.

D

 Sophie Lowe is in this.



August 17, 2010

FFF- The Tomb (2010)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1038011/
Some hot chick named Ligeia is running around a College trying to suck souls out of corpses with a tube, and she decides to seduce Wes Bentley and steal him away from his fiance; because he's rich and he can fund her soul sucking.

He falls under her spell, dumps Michael Madsen's daughter, moves to Russia (or some place that looks like Russia) with her, and they sit around in a Castle and drink odd concoctions together, and brood. Ligeia needs a new body you see, because she's cursed and will die without "transferring her essence" to another.

Plot holes galore and awkward body swapping ensue.

Anyone remember after American Beauty when Wes Bentley was the hottest thing in Hollywood, and thought to be on the verge of greatness? Neither do I. If he ever was on that sacred verge, then I honestly think that his eyebrows held him back. I mean, try taking him seriously as an actor with those eyebrows. I mean come on, Wes.

So imagine my surprise to find him starring in The Tomb (aka Ligeia.) I immediately thought to myself "this isn't going to be good", and lo-and-behold, it wasn't.

It's a fine film in a few ways; it looks good, it's filled with some great scenery, there are a couple of hot chicks in it... and that's it. That's pretty much all of the "good." Aside from those few things, The Tomb is drab, dull, boring, slow, often feels choppy, and above all, it isn't scary. As a TV drama, maybe it works for some people. Maybe. As a Horror film, and one released under the Fangoria banner, it's a major let down. Let's not even mention that Ligeia was originally a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, because that makes the insult that much worse. Whoever wrote this script must have wiped their ass with Poe's short story and scoffed, thinking that they could do it better.

There's no build up or logical progression to many of the characters actions, they just seem to kind of do things because the script said to. I'm sure we're supposed to write it all off to Ligeia being so bewitching, but some realism would still be nice. There is no dread or feeling of foreboding to be found here, only poor plotting, poor pacing, and nonsense. I never once felt a sense of concern for anyone on screen, as there was no creepy or dangerous atmosphere anywhere to be found anywhere in this movie.

I'm convinced that The Tomb was edited by someone who was drunk off their ass or wanted some kind of revenge, because the movie jumps scenes so awkwardly and nonsensically, that the plot becomes pointless and frustrating about 20 minutes in. Flat, uninspired acting doesn't help either when dealing with a shitty script, and that's pretty much what we got from just about everyone in this work of art. Wes Bentley pretty much sleepwalks through this movie. Seeing Michael Madsen and Eric Roberts in this movie makes me recall the days when they were both character acting powerhouses, landing plum roles and knocking it out of the park every time. Here, they just kind of exist for the sake of existing, and serve no purpose. Sofya Skya is gorgeous as Ligeia, but really can't act to save her life; Monica Belluci would have been perfect in her role. It's always fun to see long time character actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, as he just has that thing about him... like a Japanese version of Danny Trejo, if that makes any sense. And Christa Campbell was in this? Where? I must have missed her when I dozed off...

Why always with the eyebrows, Wes Bentley?
No tension, no dread, little blood, poor writing, horrible editing, disjointed plot... even the sex scenes fell short, and the movie is about a seductive temptress! This one brings nothing to the table. So far, not so good, Fangoria.
 
Kaitlin Doubleday is in this.

August 16, 2010

Burning Bright (2010)

"Tyger, Tyger, burning bright, we enjoyed your film tonight..."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1244658/
Sub-Genre- Killer Tiger
In Attendance- Me, Machine, Geo, Little G, and Michelle.
Cast Members of Note- Briana Evigan, Charlie Tahan, Garrett Dillahunt, and Meat Loaf.

Ok, here goes... A girl and her autistic brother are trapped in a house with a ravenous tiger during a hurricane... Sure, that synopsis sounds pretty lame and nonsensical; why not just leave the house and take your chances in the hurricane, right? Add to the scenario the fact that the house is all boarded and sealed up tight in preparation for said hurricane, and it makes more sense. Although taking your chances with a hurricane makes no sense either. So really, it all seems fairly dumb.

I said "seems" dumb, Briana. Don't be mad, baby.
After their mom dies, Kelly and Tom are left in the care of their skeezy Step-Dad, who has a dream of spending all of his late wife's money by building an exotic Petting Zoo in the back yard. Sounds reasonable. Unfortunately, Kelly needs that money for beauty school, not to mention daycare for her artistic brother, and when she confronts Step-Daddy about it, he decides to kill them with a tiger.

Oh hai there.
With a hurricane bearing down on them, trapped in a inescapable house, and being stalked by a malnourished tiger, Briana Evigan proceeds to spend the entire rest of the movie skulking around the house either drenched in sweat or soaked with rain... wonderfully accentuating the short shorts and the white tank top she's wearing. She's like a glistening nanny with a gun.

Sweaty, scantily clad, anti-tiger vengeance!
Did Step-Daddy kill Mommy for the insurance money? Can a hot chick fight a tiger to keep herself and her artistic brother alive? Will we ever find out why the movie is called Burning Bright? I don't want to spoil anything for you here, so all I will say is that if I were that tiger, I'd lick Briana's sweat drippings too.

That tiger is a perv!
The title of this movie has intrigued the hell out of me since I first heard about it last summer. It conjures up thoughts of an autistic boy with a"gift" of some sort, that shines through in his greatest time of need. That all sounded plausible to me, although the end product was far from what I had imagined; as it turns out, the movie's title came from some old poem called Tyger,Tyger and had nothing to do with plot itself, which was a bummer. But, I digress.

This movie works within its limited trappings, and manages to deliver a tense, fun, and very satisfying 85 minutes of tiger/hurricane craziness. It's not reinventing the wheel or anything, but it does manage to put a little bit of air in the tire so as not to make the ride bumpy at all. You can't help but be on edge wondering if Kelly can keep she and her brother alive, running around a house that they can't escape from, with a starving tiger in hot pursuit. We were so wound up by the end, that we clapped and gave a little cheer at the outcome. It wasn't a magnum opus of Horror Thrillers by any means, but I'll be damned if it wasn't a helluva good time.

Our thoughts exactly.
Dear Briana Evigan; We here at THC have great respect for you, as your father (Greg Evigan) was on one of the best TV Shows of all time (B.J. and the Bear), but it's time to get naked already. You're young and hot, so make hay while the sun shines and show us what you've got. Slut it up a little, no one's going to judge you. I mean, don't you think you kinda owe us at least that for having to sit through Sorority Row? YOU. OWE. US.

This is the first move I've seen Briana Evigan in that was truly good, and it may be the one movie in her repertoire that will be least known. I'm sure tons of people saw Sorority Row and Step Up part 12, which is a sad statement for so many different reasons, but this one will most likely fly under the radar of most movie lovers. We just love to see little quirky movies like this get the love sometimes, you know?

There was VERY little gore in this movie, although we do get a few tiger-induced injuries and one pretty bloody scene towards the end. This movie was definitely more about suspense than it was  about the bloodshed.

See, there's some blood.
No naked stuff in this one, but we did get to see Brianna Evigan all scantily-clad and wet throughout a good portion of the movie. Had this movie been exactly the same but added a plot element of the daughter being a nudist into the mix... Instant Classic.

Always have a will in place, in case of Evil Step-Father. Also, the title Burning Bright makes no sense at all. Neither does the poem.

Crazy premise and a title-pulled-from-an-obscure-poem aside, Burning Bright was a pleasant surprise for us all. The film manages to make its small setting work very well, and delivers the scares and edge-of-your-seat pacing that more suspense films need these days. While not perfect, this should be an enjoyable breath of fresh Horror air for most genre fans, especially those of the jaded variety. Check it out on DVD now.

B+

I have an idea for a new version of Briana Evigan's dad's classic TV Show, BJ and the Bear; I play a sexy and sassy truck driver named Bear, and Briana is BJ, the lot-lizard with a heart of gold, who spends each show truly earning her nickname... Tell me that wouldn't work. It would have to be on HBO or Showtime or something though, because, explicit sex.